Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

waydowntown

 

Year: 2001
Country: Canada
Run Time: 83 minutes

The time: lunch hour. The place: a downtown hive of glass skyscrapers, enclosed pedestrian bridges, malls and promenades in the heart of a North American metropolis. Tom, a youthful office trainee terminally bored after five months of soulless drudgery at Mather Mather & Mather (what this firm actually does remains a mystery throughout) once thought it would be a fun idea to cook up a wager with three friends ? $10,000 will go to the one who can hold out the longest without venturing out into the open air, beyond the interconnected warren of high-rise apartments, parking garages, subways and food courts. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Even their apartments are accessible via walkway. But by week four a surreal atmosphere has set in for the contestants. Tom, sustaining himself with marijuana, finds himself fantasizing about the city being held captive by supervillains, and he plays sadistic pranks on total strangers. High-strung Sandra, assigned to baby-sit the unbalanced old executive who founded Mather Mather & Mather, obsesses over the ventilation system. Ace competitor Curt concentrates on seducing a colleague, while Tom's much-disliked cubicle neighbor, a quiet drone dubbed "Sadly-I'm-Bradley," turns to self-mutilation when his nonstop video-game playing fails to provide solace. From Canada's Gary Burns, creator of "Kitchen Party" (22nd CIFF, 1998) comes a darkly-comic answer to "Survivor," as cabin fever gnaws away at characters gradually losing their minds on an island of concrete and steel.

Screenplay
Gary Burns, James Martin

Director
Gary Burns

Producer
Shirley Vercruysse, Gary Burns

Cinematography
Patrick McLaughlin

Editing
Mark Lemmon

Principal Cast
Fabrizio Filippo, Don McKellar, Marya Delver, Gordon Currie, Jennifer Clement, Tobias Godson

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